What Should I Be Doing Right Now?
Understanding the fundamentals of Medicare is crucial to making an informed decision when you are eligible to enroll. Here are some tips and suggestions of things to learn about and take care of over the next few years:
- Begin to gather information about Medicare so you understand the basics. The more you understand, the more likely you are to choose the option that works best for you.
- Keep a record of how much you utilize health care services every year. How often did you go to your doctors (including routine eye exams), how many hospital stays did you have, and how many prescription drugs did you use? By determining how many services you use annually, you’ll have a more accurate picture of the type of plan that would be right for you.
- Keep recording your health care usage. It’s best to have multiple years of information so you can see if you use the same number of services each year or if it fluctuates.
- It’s very important to learn more about the reputation of the health plans you’re considering. Talk to friends and family to learn about their experiences with Medicare. Another great way to find out more about health plans is on the Medicare website (www.medicare.gov).
- It’s time to really narrow down your options. If you’re looking at Medicare Advantage plans, call or meet with representatives from all the plans you’re interested in.
- This year you will receive your Initial Enrollment Period Package from Medicare. Soon after this package arrives, you will also receive the “Medicare & You” handbook.
- Remember, you can apply for Medicare Parts A, B, C and D three months before you turn 65, your birthday month and three months after.
- It’s time to make your choice. Keep in mind that your initial enrollment window ends three months after your birthday month. NOTE: If you wait to choose a plan outside of your initial enrollment period, you might end up paying more and/or have fewer choices.
- If you’ve decided to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, meet with a representative from that plan. Bring all your information, including the medical service usage records you’ve put together, a list of all your prescription drugs and your red, white and blue Medicare card.
Still working or over 65
- If you’re still working, check with your health plan or your benefits administrator to see how your insurance works with Medicare.
- When you’re ready to retire, contact Independent Health to get all the information you need on our Medicare Advantage plans.